The coast and the shelf of the Black Sea have always been strategically important resources for Russia in many ways. Numerous seaside resorts of the Black Sea are widely known not only in Russia but also abroad and have been very popular tourist attraction in Eurasia. Many of them are world class resorts that can compete with western ones. The current plans of region development (including construction of the Olympic complex for Sochi 2014) are aiming to transform the Black Sea coast into one of the world leading resort areas both for summer and winter tourism.
The Black Sea coast and its shelf are also important as an industrial area with developed (and growing) oil production and high level of cargo shipping. Krasnodar territory, the only Russian region on the Black Sea, possesses vast resources of oil and gas and the production has been constantly growing in recent years. Here is also situated one of the biggest Russian seaports – Novorossiysk, which is the second largest oil terminal in the country and the main in the Russian Black Sea coast area.
Realizing the scale of anthropogenic influence in the region, «Geomarketing Research Center» initiated the regular space monitoring of the Black Sea waters and the coastline, including Novorossiysk, Gelengik, Tuapse and Sochi. Using the space monitoring data the project is aiming to solve two independent problems:
- Monitoring of oil spills in the Black Sea;
- Monitoring of ground surface deformations (with millimeter precision) in the areas of oil production and building construction.
For both problems the same data set of satellite images is supposed to be used, which illustrates the idea of complex approach to Earth monitoring for studying crucial geo-ecological processes.
The project goals are:
- Providing the public, government and commercial organizations with up-to-date information on the ecological situations related to oil spills in the sea in order to take immediate actions aimed to prevent ecological disasters or to reduce the damage caused by accidents and prosecute those responsible;
- Promoting ideas of ecologically responsible business planning for building and oil production companies in order to avoid critical situations related to ground surface deformations.